To Perform One’s Duty Well, One Must at Least Be Possessed of a Conscience and Reason

Many people are cast out after performing duties for just a year or two, or for just three to five years. What is the main reason for this? It can be said that it is primarily because those people do not possess consciences or reason, and lack humanity. Not only do they not accept the truth, they also cause disruptions and disturbances, and are always careless and perfunctory while performing their duties. They never listen no matter how the truth is fellowshiped on with them, and they are uncompliant and defiant when pruned or dealt with. Eventually, there is no other option but to clear them out and cast them out. What problem does this illustrate? To perform duties, people must at least be possessed of consciences and reason; without these, it will be hard for them to stand firm. All who lack consciences and reason have no humanity, and cannot accept the truth, so God cannot save them, and even if they render service, they will not do so adequately. This is an issue that you must see clearly. When you encounter people with no consciences or reason in the future—that is, people who are without humanity—you must clear them out as soon as possible.

Some people don’t take any responsibility when they perform their duty, they are always careless and perfunctory. Although they can see the problem, they are unwilling to seek a resolution and are scared of offending people, and so they just rush through things, with the result that the work has to be redone. Since you are performing this duty, you should take responsibility for it. Why do you not take it seriously? Why are you perfunctory and careless? And are you remiss in your responsibilities when you perform your duty in this way? No matter who takes primary responsibility, everyone else is responsible for keeping an eye on things, everyone must have this burden and this sense of responsibility—but none of you pay any attention, you really are perfunctory, you have no loyalty, you are remiss in your duties! It’s not that you can’t see the problem, but that you are not willing to take responsibility—nor, when you do see the problem, do you wish to pay any heed to this matter, you settle for “good enough.” Is being careless and perfunctory in this way not an attempt to deceive God? If, when I worked and fellowshiped about the truth to you, I felt that “good enough” was acceptable, then as befits each of your calibers and pursuits, what could you gain from that? If I had the same attitude as you, you could gain nothing. Why do I say this? Part of it is that you do nothing earnestly, and part is that you are of quite poor caliber, quite numb. It is because I see all of you numb and without love for the truth, and not pursuing the truth, along with your poor calibers, that I must speak in detail. I must spell everything out, and break things down and fragment them in My speech, and speak of things from every angle, in every which way. Only then do you understand a bit. If I were perfunctory with you, and spoke a bit on whatever topic, whenever I felt like it, neither putting thought into it nor taking pains, without My heart in it, not speaking when I did not feel like it, what could you gain? With calibers like yours, you would not understand the truth. You would gain nothing, much less attain salvation. But I cannot do that, instead I must speak in detail. I must go into detail and give examples regarding the states of each sort of person, the attitudes people have toward the truth, and each sort of corrupt disposition; only then will you comprehend what I’m saying, and understand what you hear. No matter what aspect of the truth is fellowshiped, I speak through various means, with styles of fellowship for adults and for children, and also in the form of rationales and stories, using theory and practice, and talking of experiences, in order that people may understand the truth and enter the reality. In this way, those who have caliber and possess hearts will have a chance to understand and accept the truth and be saved. But your attitude toward your duty has always been one of carelessness and perfunctoriness, of dragging your feet, and you are unconcerned with how long a delay you cause. You do not reflect on how to seek the truth in order to solve problems, you give no thought to how to perform your duty properly in order to be able to testify to God. This is neglecting your duty. So your life grows very slowly, but you are not upset by how much time you have wasted. In fact, if you performed your duty conscientiously and responsibly, it wouldn’t even take five or six years before you were able to talk of your experiences and bear testimony to God, and the various work would be carried out to great effect—but you are not willing to be mindful of God’s will, nor do you strive toward the truth. There are some things you do not know how to do, so I give you exact instructions. You do not have to think, you just have to listen and get on with it. That is the only bit of responsibility you must take on—but even that is beyond you. Where is your loyalty? It is nowhere to be seen! All you do is say pleasant-sounding things. In your hearts, you know what you should do, but you simply do not practice the truth. This is rebellion against God, and at root, it is a lack of love for the truth. You know full well in your hearts how to act in accordance with the truth—you just don’t put it into practice. This is a serious problem; you are staring at the truth without putting it into practice. You are not someone who obeys God at all. To perform a duty in God’s house, the least you must do is seek and practice the truth and act according to the principles. If you cannot practice the truth in your performance of your duty, then where can you practice it? And if you do not practice any of the truth, then you are a nonbeliever. What is your purpose, really, if you do not accept the truth—much less practice the truth—and simply muddle along in the house of God? Do you wish to make God’s house your retirement home, or an almshouse? If so, you are mistaken—God’s house does not take care of freeloaders, of wastrels. Anyone of poor humanity, who does not perform their duty gladly, who is unfit to perform a duty, must all be cleared out; all nonbelievers who do not accept the truth at all must be cast out. Some people understand the truth but cannot put it into practice in performing their duties. When they see a problem, they do not solve it, and even though they know it is their responsibility, they do not give it their all. If you do not even carry out responsibilities that you are capable of, then what value or effect could performing your duty possibly have? Is it meaningful to believe in God in this way? Someone who understands the truth but cannot practice it, who cannot bear the hardships they ought to—such a person is unfit to perform a duty. Some people who perform a duty really do so just to be fed. They are beggars. They think that if they do a few tasks in God’s house, their room and board will be taken care of, that they will be provided for without needing to get a job. Is there such a thing as a bargain like that? God’s house does not provide for loafers. If anyone who does not practice the truth in the least, and who is consistently careless and perfunctory in performing their duty, says they believe in God, will God acknowledge them? All such people are nonbelievers and, as God sees them, doers of evil.

People who truly believe in God perform their duties willingly, without calculating their own gains and losses. No matter whether you are someone who pursues the truth, you must rely on your conscience and reason and really make an effort when you perform your duty. What does it mean to really make an effort? If you are merely satisfied with making some token effort, and suffering a little physical hardship, but you do not take your duty seriously at all or seek the truth principles, then this is nothing more than being careless and perfunctory—it is not really making an effort. The key to making an effort is putting your heart into it, fearing God in your heart, being mindful of God’s will, being terrified of disobeying God and hurting God, and suffering any hardship in order to perform your duty well and satisfy God: If you have a God-loving heart in this way, you will be able to perform your duty properly. If there is no fear of God in your heart, you will have no burden when you perform your duty, will have no interest in it, and will inevitably be careless and perfunctory, and go through the motions, without producing any real effect—which is not performing a duty. If you truly have a sense of burden, and feel like performing your duty is your personal responsibility, and that if you don’t, you are not fit to live, and are a beast, that only if you perform your duty properly are you worthy of being called a human being, and can face your own conscience—if you have this sense of burden when you perform your duty—then you will be able to do everything conscientiously, and will be able to seek the truth and do things according to the principles, and so will be able to do your duty properly and satisfy God. If you are worthy of the mission that God has given you, and of all that God has sacrificed for you and His expectations of you, then this is really making an effort. Now do you understand? If you merely go through the motions in performing your duty and do not seek to achieve results at all, you are a hypocrite, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You may trick people, but you cannot fool God. If there is no real price and no loyalty when you perform your duty, then it is not up to standard. If you do not really make an effort in your faith in God and performance of your duty; if you always want to go through the motions and are perfunctory in your actions, like an unbeliever working for their boss; if you just make a token effort, you don’t use your mind, you muddle through each day as it comes, not reporting problems when you see them, seeing a spill and not cleaning it up, and indiscriminately dismissing everything that is not to your own benefit—then is this not trouble? How could someone like this be a member of God’s house? Such people are unbelievers; they are not of the house of God. Not one of them is acknowledged by God. Whether you are being true and whether you made an effort when you perform your duty, God keeps account, and you also know full well. So, have you ever really made an effort in performing your duty? Have you ever taken it seriously? Have you treated it as your responsibility, your obligation? Have you taken ownership of it? You must properly reflect on and know these matters, which will make it easy to address the problems that exist in performing your duty, and will be beneficial to your life entry. If you are always irresponsible when performing your duty, and do not report problems to the leaders and workers when you discover them, nor seek the truth to solve them on your own, always thinking “the less trouble the better,” always living by philosophies of dealing with the world, always being careless and perfunctory when you perform your duty, never having any devotion, and not accepting the truth at all when pruned and dealt with—if you perform your duty in this way, you are in danger; you are one of the service-doers. Service-doers are not members of God’s house, but employees, hired workers. When the work ends, they shall be cast out, and shall naturally be plunged into catastrophe. The people of God’s house are different; when they perform their duty, it is not for money, or to labor or gain blessings. They think, “I am a member of God’s house. Matters which concern God’s house concern me. The affairs of God’s house are my affairs. I should put my heart into God’s house.” Because of this, they put their heart into every matter that concerns God’s house, and take responsibility for it. They take responsibility for everything they can think of and see. They keep an eye out for things that need handling, and they take matters to heart. These are the people of God’s house. Are you the same way? (No.) If you just lust after the comforts of the flesh, pay no heed when you see there are things that need handling in the house of God, do not pick up a bottle of oil which has fallen over, and your heart knows there is a problem but you do not want to resolve it, then you are not treating the house of God as your own. Is this how you are? If it is, then you have fallen so far that there is no difference between you and the unbelievers. If you do not repent, then you must be counted as being outside of the house of God; you must be shelved and cast out. The fact is that God wishes in His heart to treat you as members of His family, yet you do not accept the truth, and are always careless, perfunctory, and irresponsible in performing your duties. You do not repent, no matter how the truth is fellowshiped about to you. It is you who have placed yourselves outside of God’s house. God wishes to save you and turn you into members of His family, yet you do not accept it. You, then, are outside of His house; you are unbelievers. Whoever does not accept the least bit of the truth can only be handled as an unbeliever would. It is you who have established your own outcome and position. You have established it outside God’s house. Who beside you is to blame for that? I’ve noticed that many people are like spiritless animals: Day in and day out they only know how to eat and work, never eating or drinking the word of God, and never fellowshiping on the truth. They understand nothing about spiritual matters in life, and live as unbelievers all the time; they are beasts disguised as humans. Such people are completely useless and cannot even be used to render service. They are wastrels, they should be cast out and swiftly sent away, and none of them should be allowed to stay. People who truly believe in God are those who are able to accept the truth, who, regardless of how the truth is fellowshiped to them, or how they are pruned and dealt with, are able to obey; they are people who possess this reason, and who are also able to listen and obey when they perform their duty. No matter what duty they are performing, they are able to take responsibility, carry out the task properly, and take up this work. Only such individuals are fit to be called human, and only these are members of God’s house. People who do service are just freeloaders, they are despised and rejected by God, they are not brothers and sisters, and they are the nonbelievers. If you treat them like brothers and sisters, you are blind and foolish. It is now the time for everyone to be grouped with their kind. It is the time when God reveals people and casts them out. If you are true believers in God, you must pursue the truth well and perform your duty well. If you can share some experiential testimony, it proves that you are a person who loves the truth, and that you possess some truth realities. But if you cannot share any experiential testimony, then you are a service-doer and are in danger of being cast out. If you perform your duty well and are responsible and loyal, then you are a loyal service-doer and you can remain. Anyone who is not a loyal service-doer must be cast out. Therefore, only by performing your duty well can you stand firm in the house of God, and be spared from calamity. Performing your duty well is crucial. At the very least, the people of God’s house are honest people. They are people who are trustworthy in their duty, who can accept God’s commission, and perform their duty loyally. If people do not have true faith, consciences, and reason, and if they do not have a heart of fear of and obedience to God, then they are not suitable to perform duties. Even though they perform their duty, they are sloppy while doing so. They are service-doers—people who have not truly repented. Service-doers such as this will be cast out sooner or later. Only loyal service-doers will be spared. Although loyal service-doers do not have the truth realities, they possess consciences and reason, they are able to perform their duties with sincerity, and God permits them to be spared. Those who possess the truth realities, and who can make resounding testimony of God are His people, and will also be spared and brought into His kingdom.

Right now, judging by the attitudes you harbor toward your duties, your efficiency in doing things, and the results you get in your duties, you are still not performing your duties adequately. This is because you are too perfunctory, and you approach too many things by just going through the motions; you are inattentive in too many matters, and display too many manifestations of following rules. What is the cause of this? Is it related to your caliber and pursuits? This is how people with very poor caliber and muddled people perform duties, and it is also how all those who do not pursue the truth perform duties. So, what are you all pursuing, exactly? Are you people who pursue the truth? (No.) It’s quite obvious that you are not people who pursue the truth. For all of you, considering your current stature, no matter how deep or shallow your understanding of the truth is, you should practice however much of it you understand—is it easy for you to do that? Based on your external environment and subjective factors, you all probably have some difficulties doing that. However, you are not evil people, you are not antichrists, and your humanity is not that bad. Moreover, although most of you have average caliber, you should still be able to grasp the truth. This ensures that it would not be that difficult for you to pursue the truth. Some deeper truths may go over your head, but if I speak about them in more concrete and detailed terms, you’ll be able to understand and grasp them. As long as you can understand the truth, no matter how deep or shallow your understanding is, and as long as you have a path, you will know how to practice. This is a basic condition for achieving the pursuit and practice of the truth, and one that you all meet. Accordingly, you should all be able to pursue and practice the truth. So why have you not been able to practice the truth? Is there something in your way? There shouldn’t be anything, and you all should be able to practice the truth and do things according to the principles within the scope of your duties. You have this wonderful opportunity, and yet you cannot achieve this. What does this demonstrate? First, it demonstrates that you dislike the truth and lack interest in it. Second, it demonstrates that you lack a real understanding about how to pursue and practice the truth, and that you lack an understanding of what it means to practice the truth, the significance and value of practicing the truth, and what is precious about practicing the truth. Without any understanding of these things, you are just muddling through things, with no interest in the truth or its practice, and still thinking to yourselves, “What’s the advantage of doing things according to the principles and practicing the truth?” These thoughts prove that you do not understand the value of the truth, that you have not yet personally experienced the benefits of doing things according to the principles and practicing the truth, and that you have no sense of their significance, hence your lack of interest in practicing the truth. Though you are somewhat interested in listening to sermons and possess some curiosity, you show little interest when the topic of practicing the truth comes up. Some people are willing to listen to sermons and read the word of God, and they are willing to practice the truth while doing things, but they fall short when it comes time to actually practice the truth. Their preferences and philosophies for dealing with the world emerge, and their corrupt dispositions are revealed, like laziness, lusting for comfort, deceitfulness, and vying for status. They are completely irresponsible in their duties and do not handle things according to the truth principles at all. They just labor and work, they are content as long as they can avoid suffering, and they are not conscientious about anything. Even when they know that they have not done their duties adequately, they do not self-reflect, but continue to perform their duties in a careless and perfunctory way. In the long term, they become numb, dull-witted, and unresponsive. This is the state of a service-doer.

Many people wish to perform duties, and some are willing to perform them, but why do they all find it so hard to practice the truth? Why can’t they even put the truths they understand into practice? What exactly is going on here? Do you think that practicing the truth is hard? (No.) So why aren’t you able to practice it? (We dislike the truth.) What is disliking the truth related to? (One’s nature.) It has to do with one’s humanity and nature. People who do not possess humanity have no consciences or reason, so they cannot love the truth, and they feel that it has little use. They also believe that they’ll lose out if they practice the truth, and that being an honest person is for fools, so they think that there is no need to pursue the truth. For instance, when some people are offended by others, they start thinking, “I need to do something to get revenge and let them know how ferocious I am.” Once a thought like this arises in them, do they have to follow through on it? Evil thoughts arise in people because they are dominated by their natures, but do all people act on these thoughts and heed them? (Not in all cases.) How many different cases are there? (Sometimes the situation does not allow it, so people are unable to follow through with their evil thoughts. It’s also possible that they have consciences and reason, and are aware that their thoughts are evil, so they consciously control themselves.) Yes, some people heed their evil thoughts, and act on them in order to satisfy themselves as soon as the opportunity presents itself—these are evil people. No matter what evil idea an evil person has in their head, they always think it’s right and they always want to seek an opportunity to turn it into a reality. That is to say, they transform their evil thoughts into actions, turning the evil in their mind into real actions in order to achieve their goals. They are irrational, they do not hold back, and they do not use their conscience to restrain themselves, nor do they self-reflect to judge the appropriateness or consequences of their actions, or the impact or harm they may cause to themselves or others. They take no notice of these things. They do as they please, and on top of this, they believe: “A real man is not without venom. People must be evil and cruel, for if they are not cruel, they will be bullied by everyone, but everyone fears an evil person.” The more they think about this, the more convinced they become that it’s right to think this way, and they then act accordingly. Is such a person’s behavior restrained by rationality and conscience? (It isn’t.) It is under no such restriction. Another type of person also has thoughts like these, and when they do, they may break things to vent their frustration, but they will not turn their thoughts into actions when it comes time to act. Why won’t they? (Because their conscience and reason can restrain them from committing evil deeds.) They have conscience and reason, as well as the ability to discern right from wrong, and they can determine: “I can’t act this way, as it will result in both harm to others and losses to myself. There might even be retribution!” They are able to judge whether their thoughts are right or wrong, or good or evil. After an outburst of anger, they will contemplate: “I should be lenient wherever possible. Never mind; I just won’t interact with that person in the future. I’ll learn a lesson from this and try not to be cheated again in the future. There’s no need for revenge.” After this, this will restrain themselves. What foundation is this “restraint” built on? It is built on the foundation of them having conscience and rationality, an ability to determine what is right and what is wrong, a baseline for their conduct, and their choices and inclination. What is their inclination? They are not inclined to requite evil with evil, but rather to avoid doing bad things and evil acts, so they ultimately decide to restrain themselves, and do not act on their thoughts. They are also angry, and in their anger, they also want to commit some cruel acts or to say some cruel words. But when it comes time to act, they hold back, stop themselves, and do not act. The evil is restricted to the realm of their thoughts, and does not become action or a fact. Both of these types of people have evil thoughts, so what is the difference in terms of nature between this one, and the type previously mentioned who lets their evil thoughts guide their actions? (This kind of person has a virtuous nature, so they can’t be controlled by evil thoughts.) There’s a difference between the natures of these two types of people. Some people are filled with hate, disobedience, and dissatisfaction when they are criticized, exposed, or pruned and dealt with by others, and they adopt a vengeful attitude. Other people, however, can face these situations correctly and rationally, they can accept what was said if it was true, and then learn a lesson from it, they adopt an attitude of obedience and acceptance. Which of these two types of people can practice the truth? (The one who has conscience and can accept the truth and obey God.) Why do you say that such a person has a bit of conscience? (Because their conscience has an effect on them, it controls their evil thoughts.) Yes, that’s what’s happening. Their conscience is having an effect on them, controlling, guiding, and making sense of their thoughts; it has an effect. Does the conscience of the other type of person have an effect? It does not; it does not have an effect. Those people merely give it some thought occasionally, but afterward they still act as they normally do. Their conscience is nothing more than decoration and it effectively does not exist. Which of these types of people is relatively possessed of humanity? (The one whose conscience and reason have an effect.) Those whose consciences have an effect have the ability to judge right from wrong and can control their evil deeds. This kind of person can practice the truth and achieve the pursuit of the truth. When you ask some people to do good things, or to handle things according to the truth principles, their consciences have no effect on them. They don’t do what they know to be right, instead they just do what they like. They are willing to gossip, to judge others, and to flatter others or suck up to them, and they do these things without hesitation. What type of person are you? (I think I’m a people-pleaser.) Are people-pleasers restrained by their consciences and rationality? Can they tell the difference between right and wrong? (I think people-pleasers can actually tell who is right and who is wrong, but they lack a sense of justice, do not protect the church’s work, and are dominated to a relatively severe degree by satanic philosophies. For instance, when someone asks me about something, if I’m referring to another person who is not there, I can speak honestly, but if they are there, I hold back, and do not speak as directly.) Although many people do not love the truth or pursue it, they do, in fact, have some understanding of their various states. Forget about whether or not you love the truth or can practice the truth for now; first, try to gradually improve and transform those corrupt states of yours that you can identify. That way, you will slowly get onto the right track. Start by changing the things you are conscious of—that is, those that your conscience and rationality can perceive, or the incorrect states, statements, ideas, and viewpoints that your mind can sense and identify—start by transforming these things that you can sense. If you can change these things, you will have gained quite a lot. At the very least, you will be a person who has conscience and reason, you will act rationally, you will be able to discern your own incorrect states, and you will be able to strive toward the truth. In this way, you will be able to handle things with principles, and enter into the truth realities. Then your performance of your duty will be up to standard. If you can understand the truth and resolve practical problems in your duty, you will face fewer and fewer difficulties. For example, say that in the past, there was always something in your heart that stopped you from speaking freely, so you did not directly point out problems you saw in others. Instead, you always beat around the bush with pleasant-sounding words, because you were afraid of hurting others, and always worried about pride, feelings, and interpersonal relationships. Now, you don’t beat around the bush anymore; when there is a problem, you speak directly and clearly about it, and you are able to point out others’ problems and fulfill your responsibilities. There are no more worries or difficulties in your heart and you are able to speak right from the heart when you open your mouth, without being affected or constrained by any other factors. Now you know that you must follow principles in what you do, that you cannot live according to philosophies for dealing with the world, and that you must set aside your pride and hold to the principles. These things get clearer and clearer, and your pride no longer has such a strong effect on you, and you can speak without being constrained by your pride or feelings. You are able to speak some fair words and no longer feel uncomfortable in your heart. In other words, there are fewer and fewer things that can disturb you; you are able to break through them, let go of them, and be free of their control. When you practice the truth, and work and speak according to the principles, you will not be constrained by corrupt dispositions, and your heart will no longer suffer. Rather, this will feel entirely natural, your conscience will be at peace, and you will feel like your actions are just as they should be. Your expression and actions will be natural and your difficulties only minor. Is this not change?

People’s conduct and ways of dealing with the world must be based on the words of God; this is the most basic principle for human conduct. How can people practice the truth if they do not understand the principles of human conduct? Practicing the truth is not about saying empty words or shouting slogans. Rather it is about how, no matter what people encounter in life, as long as it involves the principles of human conduct, their perspectives on things, or the matter of performing their duties, they are faced with making a choice, and they should seek the truth, search for a basis and principles in God’s words, and then find a path of practice. Those who can practice in this way are people who pursue the truth. To be able to pursue the truth in this way no matter how great the difficulties one encounters is to walk the path of Peter, the path of pursuing the truth. For example: What principle should be followed when it comes to interacting with others? Perhaps your original viewpoint is that “Harmony is a treasure; forbearance is brilliance,” and that you should keep on everyone’s good side, avoid causing others to lose face, and offend no one, thereby achieving good relations with others. Constricted by this viewpoint, you keep silent when you witness others doing bad things or violating the principles. You would rather that the work of the church suffers losses than offend anyone. You seek to stay on everyone’s good side, no matter who they are. You think only about human sentiments and saving face when you speak, and you always speak nice-sounding words to please others. Even if you discover that someone has problems, you choose to tolerate them, and just talk about them behind their back, but to their face you keep the peace and maintain your relationship. What do you think of such conduct? Is it not that of a people-pleaser? Is it not pretty slippery? It violates the principles of human conduct. Is it not lowly to conduct yourself in such a manner? Those who act like this are not good people, this is not a noble way to conduct oneself. No matter how much you have suffered, and no matter how many prices you have paid, if you conduct yourself without principles, then you have failed in this respect, and your conduct will not be recognized, remembered, or accepted before God. Having realized this problem, do you feel distressed? (Yes.) What does this distress prove? It proves that you still love the truth, and that you have a heart that loves the truth and a will to love the truth. It proves that your conscience still has awareness, and that your conscience is not thoroughly dead. No matter how deeply you are corrupted, or how many corrupt dispositions you have, in your humanity, you still have an essence which loves the truth and positive things. So long as you have awareness, and know what problems exist with regard to your humanity, dispositions, the performance of your duty, and how you treat God, and you even have awareness when your words and actions touch on views, stances, and attitudes, and can realize that your views are wrong, that they are not in line with the truth or God’s will, but it is not easy to let go of them, and you want to practice the truth but are unable to do so, and your heart is struggling, in pain, and tormented, and you feel indebted—this is one manifestation of a humanity which loves positive things. This is the awareness of conscience. If your humanity has the awareness of conscience, and there is a part of it which loves the truth and positive things, you will have these feelings. Having these feelings proves that you have the ability to distinguish between positive things and negative things, and that you do not have a neglectful or indifferent attitude toward these things; you are not numb or lacking in awareness, rather, you have awareness. And because you have awareness, you possess the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and between positive things and negative things. If you have awareness and this ability, then won’t it be easy for you to hate these negative things, these wrong views, and corrupt dispositions? It will be relatively easy. If you understand the truth, then you will certainly be able to hate negative things and things of the flesh, because you possess the minimum and most basic of things: the awareness of conscience. Having the awareness of conscience is so valuable, as is having the ability to differentiate between what is true and false, and having a sense of righteousness when it comes to loving positive things. These three things are the most desirable and valuable things in normal humanity. If you possess these three things, then you will certainly be able to practice the truth. Even if you only have one or two of these things, you will still be able to practice some of the truth. Let us take a look at the awareness of conscience. For example, if you encounter an evil person disturbing and disrupting the church’s work, will you be able to discern it? Are you able to pick out obvious evil deeds? Of course you can. Evil people do bad things, and good people do good things; the average person can tell the difference with one glance. If you possess the awareness of conscience, won’t you have feelings and views? If you have views and feelings, then you possess one of the most basic conditions for practicing the truth. If you can tell and feel that this person is doing evil, and you can discern it and then expose that person, and enable God’s chosen people to discern this matter, won’t the problem be resolved? Is this not practicing the truth and holding to the principles? What methods are used to practice the truth here? (Exposing, reporting, and stopping the evildoing.) Correct. Acting in this way is practicing the truth, and by doing this, you will have fulfilled your responsibilities. If you can act according to the truth principles that you understand when you encounter situations like this, this is practicing the truth, this is doing things with principles. But if you did not possess the awareness of conscience, and you saw evil people doing evil, would you be aware of this? (I wouldn’t.) And what would people with no awareness think about it? “What’s it to me if that person does evil? They’re not hurting me, so why would I offend them? Is it really necessary to? How would I benefit from doing that?” Do people like this expose, report, and stop evil people from doing evil? Certainly not. They understand the truth but can’t practice it. Do such people have consciences and reason? They have neither consciences nor reason. Why do I say this? Because they understand the truth but don’t practice it; this means that they have no consciences or reason, and that they are rebelling against God. They only focus on protecting their own interests from harm; they have no regard for whether the church’s work suffers losses, or whether damage is done to the interests of God’s chosen people. They only try to protect themselves, and if they discover problems, they ignore them. Even when they see someone committing evil, they turn a blind eye to it, and think that it’s fine, as long as it isn’t hurting their interests. No matter what others do, it seems to be none of their business; they feel no sense of responsibility, and their consciences do not have any effect on them. Based on these manifestations, do these people have humanity? A person without a conscience and reason is a person without humanity. People without consciences and reason are all evil: They are beasts disguised as humans, who are capable of all manner of evil things.

Is someone who does not possess the awareness of conscience able to discern good deeds and evil things? Do they have any concept of right versus wrong, or correct versus incorrect? (They don’t.) So how do they approach other people? How do they view the corrupt human race? They believe that all of mankind is rather wicked, that they themselves are not the evilest among mankind, and that the majority of people are eviler than they are. If you tell them that people must have consciences and rationality, and that people should prepare good deeds, they’ll say that’s a lie and won’t believe it. People like this, who do not possess the awareness of conscience, will therefore never know the meaning and value of practicing the truth. So, is it possible to get this kind of person to love the truth? (No.) There is nothing within their nature essence that loves the truth, so they will never be able to love the truth. This kind of person will never understand what the truth is, what good is, or what evil is. In their mind, positive things are negative and negative things are positive; the two concepts are muddled together. On what principles do they base their actions? They do not distinguish between right and wrong, or good and evil, and they do not care about retribution or reward; whatever they do or say just needs to be for their own benefit. As for their viewpoints, they change them according to their environment as needed to suit their own interests. They hold onto the viewpoints that will help their interests until they have achieved their goals and desires. Is it possible for someone with this type of humanity, with this nature essence, to practice the truth? (No.) What must one possess in order to practice the truth? (The awareness of conscience, the ability to discern between right and wrong, and a heart with love for justice and positive things.) Which of these do you possess? Of these three, acquiring the ability to discern between right and wrong, and coming to love justice and positive things may be a bit strenuous. These two things are very difficult to achieve for those who don’t love the truth. But people with consciences and reason, at the very least, must do things in accordance with their consciences and reason, at minimum, not hurting others, not causing others harm for their own benefit, and not doing evil or unconscionable things—that way their consciences can rest easy. If they genuinely believe in God, then they must at least be honest, and accord with their consciences and reason in everything they do. These are the standards for being a good person. If they have a bit of caliber and can grasp the truth, that’s even better; then they can seek the truth in everything they do, and constantly examine their actions for violations of the principles. Deep in your heart, do you have a standard of assessment? If you do something wrong, or violate the principles, if you are careless and perfunctory, or if you safeguard your fleshly relationships, are you aware of this? If you are, then you have a bit of conscience. If you do not possess the awareness of conscience, then you’re in trouble. You must at least possess the awareness of conscience in order to have hope of salvation; if you don’t even have that, you are in danger, because God does not save those without humanity. What effect does the awareness of conscience have within your humanity? The effect is that you must use your conscience to evaluate the rightness and wrongness of what you personally experience, what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears, what you think, what you plan to do, and what you have already done. Your conduct and actions must at least have a baseline. For instance, say that you see someone who pursues with a lot of enthusiasm, but is also very simple and guileless, and you always look down on them, and constantly want to bully them, and irritate and ridicule them with your words. You have these thoughts, and you occasionally also reveal some behaviors like this—will you be aware of this in your heart? Will you know that these thoughts and actions are wrong and unsightly? Will you realize what the nature of your actions is? (Yes.) If so, that means you possess the awareness of conscience. If you are not even able to discern if your views on people, events, and things, or the thoughts deep inside your own heart, are unsightly or if they are beautiful and good, if you have no standard of assessment in your heart, then you have no humanity. People without consciences have no humanity. If you do not even know basic humanity, then you have no value whatsoever and cannot be saved. Why did God assign Judas the role of selling out the Lord? He did so according to Judas’ nature. Judas was the kind of thing that would betray his Master for his own gain, and God does not save people like that. Judas was able to steal money, so did he have a conscience? (No.) This is what not having a conscience looks like. In particular, the fact that the money he stole was the Lord’s means that he was a thing that lacked all conscience and reason; he was a demon who was not restrained in any way from doing bad things. He did not possess the awareness of conscience and could not restrain himself, so he was able to secretly spend those offerings to God. If a person can secretly spend offerings to God, what sort of humanity do they have? (That of an evil person.) They have no humanity. The first mark of a lack of humanity is not possessing the awareness of conscience, and not being governed by one’s conscience in anything one does. Judas lacked even this most basic thing, which means that he had no humanity, so it was normal for him to do something like that. Therefore, God arranging for Judas to play the part of selling out the Lord, and getting him to render this service, was the most appropriate choice; none of God’s materials are wasted, everything God does is right. When Judas stole the money from the money bag, and no one knew about it, he believed that God did not see him doing it either. He did not have the awareness of conscience, and thought that no one else knew, and what was the result of this? He committed the grave sin of selling out the Lord, of betraying the Lord, and became known as a sinner through the ages. Then he hung himself, and died with his abdomen burst open. Should such a person be pitied? A beast with no humanity being punished like that deserves no pity at all.

People with humanity do everything according to their consciences and reason. The baseline for their conduct, at the very least, will not sink beneath the standard of their consciences. If they are aware that it is wrong to do something, they will be able to keep their behavior in check. Consciences can tell people the appropriate way to act, so people with consciences are able to speak and act based on their consciences. After becoming believers, their consciences continue to play a role as they did before. So, when there are many things that they cannot see clearly, they can still, at the very least, approach and handle those things based on their consciences. If, on top of this foundation, they understand the truth, then they will handle things according to the truth principles; their consciences will have an awareness of whether their action conforms to the truth principles or not, and will have an effect on them. If people violate the principles and safeguard their fleshly interests, this is due to the domination of their corrupt dispositions, and those who possess consciences should be aware of this. If someone understands the truth but doesn’t practice it, do they feel the accusation of their conscience? Can their heart rest easy? People are all able to experience this. In your everyday life, whether you’re dealing with people or doing things, is the awareness of your conscience obvious? Do you sometimes feel indebted or rebuked? Do you sometimes feel inner unease and accusation, or inner pain and struggle? Do you ever have these feelings? If you do, that’s not so bad, but if you don’t, then you’re in danger. No matter who you are, if you do not have the feelings of conscience, then you do not genuinely believe in God. Some people ask, “How does this have anything to do with whether someone’s belief is genuine or false?” What would you say is the link between these things? (When a person who possesses the awareness of conscience does something wrong, the self-reproach, misery, remorse, and sense of indebtedness they feel all come from God. The fact that they are able to sense God’s reproaching indicates that in their heart they accept God’s scrutiny. Some people do not have this awareness at all, which indicates that in their hearts, they don’t believe at all that God is scrutinizing everything. When they do something wrong, they don’t feel like they are indebted; they do not have this kind of awareness.) That is partially right. Is there anything else? (People who possess consciences acknowledge that there is a God and when they do something wrong, they know to pray to God and self-reflect, and seek the truth to resolve the problem. When a person who lacks a conscience encounters a problem, they are not affected by conscience; there is no place in their heart for God, and they don’t seek the truth to resolve the problem. They don’t believe the truth is something they need, so they don’t try to practice the truth. Those who believe in God but don’t practice the truth are nonbelievers.) No matter what a person of true faith encounters, they can accept God’s scrutiny, and in this way their conscience has an awareness of what is right and wrong, or good and bad. Even more importantly, they believe God exists and they believe in His word. They keep the words of God that they hear in their hearts, which then act as their standard of assessment for their own comportment and the way they deal with the world, and in everything they do. What is this standard? Regardless of whether they understand the truth or not, most of the time they take God’s word as their standard, because they believe in God, they believe He exists, and they believe that His word is the truth. Since they believe God’s word is the truth, when they encounter problems, they naturally use His word to assess them. At the very least, they know that their own thoughts and notions are not the truth. So, when they encounter problems, the awareness of conscience tells them that they must take God’s word as their basis, and if they can’t do that, and can’t put it into practice, their conscience won’t be able to rest easy and will feel tormented. For example, how do people know that things like safeguarding their fleshly relationships with others, reveling in comfort, and being people-pleasers are negative things? (It is revealed in God’s word.) Yes, if you measure those things according to God’s word, they are all negative, revelations of corrupt dispositions, and caused by people’s natures. When these people reveal those things, do they feel happy and joyful in their hearts, or upset and pained? They feel internal struggle and upset, like a knife twisting into them. Every time they encounter these things, when they can’t handle them according to the truth principles, or break through the constraints of their feelings, their hearts feel pained. How does this pain come about? It comes about on the condition that they have the awareness of conscience and understand the truth of God’s word. When all this pain, reproach, and accusation arises in them, deep in their hearts, they feel hatred and disgust toward themselves, and may even view themselves with contempt, saying, “I may talk a good game, saying that I want to love God and satisfy God, and I proclaim these slogans quite loudly, but when things befall me, I always consider my own pride. No matter how many times I try, I cannot break through this constraint. I’m just unwilling to offend others, and am constantly offending God.” Over time, they develop an opinion of themselves in the depths of their hearts—what is it? They don’t think they’re good people; they know they are capable of many bad things, and they see that they’re very good at putting on an act, and that they are hypocrites. Under these circumstances, they begin to deny themselves, and no longer believe in themselves. How are these results achieved? They are achieved upon the foundation of understanding God’s word, when their consciences have awareness and fulfill their function.

Those who truly believe in God are those who have true faith in God. They have feelings driven by their consciences and reason; they believe in their hearts that God’s words are the truth; they believe that everything God does is right, and is for the purpose of saving and purifying people. Regardless of whether it is in line with people’s notions and imaginings, it is of benefit to them. Those who do not truly believe in God do not have consciences and do not have reason, nor do they care about having consciences or reason. They always have an attitude of half belief and half disbelief toward God’s words; their hearts cannot feel that God’s words are the truth. So what is their view on the existence of God? In their hearts, they think, “If God exists, then where is He? I don’t see Him. I don’t know if God really exists. If you believe He exists, then He does; if you don’t, then He doesn’t.” This is their view. Yet they mull it over, thinking, “So many people believe in God and have testified to Him. Maybe there really is a God. I hope there is, because then I can take advantage of the situation and gain blessings. I will have lucked out.” They use a mentality of luck and gambling and just want to participate for a bit of fun; they think that even if they are not blessed, it is no loss, because they have not invested anything. Their view and attitude toward the existence of God is, “Does God actually exist? I can’t tell either way. Where is God? I’m not exactly sure. Are all these people who testified for real? Or are they lying? I’m not sure either.” Their heart places a question mark over all these issues; they cannot figure it out, and so they constantly doubt it. Their belief in God is tainted with an attitude of doubt and mistaken views. When God speaks and expresses the truth, what is their attitude toward His words? (Doubt and disbelief.) This is not their main view; you do not see this matter clearly. Do they take God’s word as the truth? (No.) What do they think? “So many people like to read God’s words, so why don’t I find it interesting? What can be gained by reading God’s words and understanding the truth? What is the benefit? Can you really get into the kingdom of heaven? People can’t see the kingdom of heaven. The way I see it, there has to be some actual benefit to believing in God; there has to be some real advantage.” They worry that if they do not understand the truth they will be cast out, so they occasionally listen to sermons. But then they ruminate, thinking, “They say God’s words have authority and power, so why don’t I hear or feel it? They say God’s words can change people, so why haven’t His words changed me? I still lust after the comforts of the flesh as much as I used to; I like food and clothes; my temper is just as bad as it’s always been; I’m still afraid when the great red dragon persecutes me. Why do I still not have faith? God asks people to be honest; He asks them to be people of truth and humanity. Aren’t honest people fools? God requires people to fear God and shun evil, but how many people can actually accomplish this? Human nature is selfish. If you follow your human nature, you must think how to gain blessings for yourself. You must scheme to bring benefit to yourself. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost. You must take your destiny into your own hands; you must make your own happiness. This is the most realistic. If people do not fight and take things for themselves, and if they do not live for fame, gain, and benefit, they will get nothing. No one will take it upon themselves to drop these things on your doorstep. Manna never actually falls from the heavens!” These are their thoughts and views, their philosophies of dealing with the world, and the logic and rules by which they survive. Are people who possess these thoughts and views nonbelievers? This is exactly the attitude nonbelievers have toward the truth. Their minds do not know what truth is, do not know where the authority and power of God’s words is manifested, and do not know how God arranges for people’s end. They just worship power and seek the benefits that are right in front of them. They think that if they believe in God they should be blessed; and that only if God bestows good fortune on people, fills their life with wealth and abundance, and gives them a happy life, is it the true way. They do not believe that God’s words are truth, and do not believe that God has sovereignty over all things, let alone that God’s words can change a person’s disposition or fate. Therefore, they have never pursued the truth while believing in God. In short, because they do not accept God’s words as their life and the goal of their life, their faith in God is increasingly weak; they have no interest in reading God’s words, nor in listening to sermons; they even fall asleep while the truth is being fellowshiped on. On top of this, they feel that performing their duty is an extra burden and that they are working for nothing. Their hearts yearn for the time when God’s work will be complete, when God will give them a statement of resolution, and they can see whether they will actually gain blessings. If they figure out that by believing in God this way they will never gain blessings, that they will definitely be cast out, and that they will still die in a disaster, then they can withdraw right now. Although they say they believe in God, their hearts doubt Him. They say God’s words are the truth, but their hearts do not believe in the truth. They have never read God’s words, nor have they ever truly listened to a sermon. They have never fellowshiped on the truth, and they have never sought the truth while performing their duty; they just use their own efforts. This is a typical nonbeliever. They are no different than the unbelievers.

Although nonbelievers acknowledge that God exists, they do not believe in the truth and do not accept it. In their hearts, they know that God does not save nonbelievers, so why do they still drag out their stays in God’s house? (To gain blessings.) It is so that they can gain blessings; this is related to their interests. In the hearts of nonbelievers is an expectation of gaining blessings, and they believe that, in the end, good fortune will come upon them if they believe in God, acknowledge Him, and do not doubt Him or leave Him. Consequently, armed with this “faith,” they install themselves in the house of God, and nothing will ever make them leave. In their minds, they understand everything and are not foolish in the slightest; it is just that they do not understand the truth. They believe that as long as they do not do bad things or disturb the church’s work, they will not be cleared out or expelled from the church, and that then, by biding their time until the day when God’s work is finished, they will end up winners and gain blessings. They have their calculations, but there is one thing they cannot change: Because they do not believe that the incarnate God is the one true God, and they doubt God’s sovereignty over everything, they will never accept the truth. What happens in the end to those who cannot accept the truth? (They are cast out.) Yes, they are all cast out. These nonbelievers are not interested in the truth but always harbor hope about being blessed. Their understanding and definition of God’s righteousness is tainted by their own imaginings and expectations, and they grasp at straws, clinging to the phrase “God is righteous” for dear life. What exactly does it mean that they are clinging to this phrase for dear life? It means that they always have biases and misinterpretations about God’s righteousness. They think, “God, since You are righteous, You should approach all that I do based on this righteousness. I haven’t committed evil, nor have I caused disruptions or disturbances, so You should show me abundant mercy and let me remain.” This is the straw they are clinging to for dear life. Is this idea of theirs objective and realistic? (It’s unrealistic.) Why is it unrealistic? They do not entirely believe in God’s righteousness, they wish to gamble on it with a mentality of trying their luck, and hope that God will fulfill their desires. Is this not just wishful thinking? They do not know what God’s righteous disposition is like, they do not seek the truth, and they do not seek to know God, and they especially do not seek God’s word. They are just believing in this way out of wishful thinking, and there is a quality of trying their luck to it. Why can they think this way? Because it is of benefit to them: This straw is their final lifeline; it is the last hope that they have placed all their bets on. By placing their own lives on the line with this wish, do they hope to lose? (No.) When people gamble, they usually hope to win, so what do these people need to hold onto so that they feel like they can win, and feel sure that they will win? It’s the phrase: “God is righteous.” Do these nonbelievers who say God is righteous really believe that He is? Do they really believe that He will repay each person according to their actions? Is God’s righteousness as they understand it the same as God’s true righteousness? (It’s not.) Do they know it’s not the same? (They do.) So why do they still keep saying that “God is righteous”? What is contained within this phrase of theirs? What intentions are contained within it? (They want to use these words to get God to fulfill their demands, and allow them to survive and enter into the kingdom of heaven.) Yes, there is an objective behind this phrase: They are trying to coerce God with it. By saying these words, they mean: “Aren’t You righteous? I’ve paid so many prices, so You should act according to Your righteousness. I’ve run around so much and endured so much suffering, now how should I be blessed?” This is coercion, extortion, and clamoring. They think that they are coercing and ingratiating themselves with a person, and that by doing so they can gain blessings and get what they want. Would God really act in this way? No, He would not. It is because they don’t believe that God exists, and don’t believe in His disposition, and certainly don’t believe that His word is the truth, that they dare to flagrantly clamor against God, and contend with God, and dare to gamble in this way. It is precisely because they are nonbelievers that they do such things. Nonbelievers behave like this, saying every now and then, “I’ve endured so much suffering, and what have I gained?” or “God is righteous, and I have faith in God, not people.” Nonbelievers often speak this way, reveal this sort of disposition, and exhibit these behaviors; this is their attitude toward God. They don’t believe in His existence but they still want to curry God’s favor by laboring and paying prices, and use the word of God, words and doctrines, and these theories to coerce and accuse God, in order to achieve their goal of gaining blessings. But aren’t they making a mistake with this kind of wishful thinking? Will this gamble of theirs pay off in the end? (It won’t.) And do they know they will lose? Do they know that they are making a bet and a gamble? (They do.) You’re wrong. They absolutely don’t know, and they believe their faith is genuine. Why do they think their faith is genuine? Tell Me, how can people recognize these states and dispositions? If they live in the secular world and study some of traditional culture’s classic works like “The Analects of Confucius” and “Tao Te Ching,” will they be able to recognize these behaviors and essences? (No.) They will never be able to. What do people have to do in order to be able to recognize these problems with their nature essences? (Accept God’s word.) First, they must accept God’s word and the truth. They must have faith that all of God’s word is correct, accept God’s word, and treat it as a sort of mirror to compare themselves against. Only then can they recognize the states and viewpoints that they harbor inside, and the problem of the corrupt dispositions that exist within their natures. If they do not accept the truth or regard God’s word as the truth, will this mirror exist to them? (No.) It will never exist to them. When they so flagrantly confront and clamor against God deep in their hearts, can they realize that this is a problem? They will never realize this. They figure that the way they are thinking and acting is right, reasonable and fair. They act as they always have, and believe as they always have, and feel no need to dissect or give up any of their existing viewpoints, and see no use in accepting the dealing, pruning, judgment, chastisement, or revelation of God’s word. They live for themselves, living in their own internal worlds. Nothing they do is related to God’s word. They think in whatever way they wish to think, and consider anything they believe or think up to be correct, to be the truth. Based on the attitude they have toward God’s word, they will never recognize the problems that exist deep in their hearts. When they pay prices and run about every day, who and what are they running about for? What governs this behavior? What is their motivation? In one respect, they have no real faith in God, but wish to gamble with Him based on a mentality of trying their luck. In another respect, they are dominated by their desire for blessings. Every time they think about gaining blessings, about receiving God’s promise, they run about more enthusiastically. The depths of their hearts bloom with joy, and some get worked up and begin to shed tears, thinking that God gives them so much and that He is so lovable. Aren’t these misconceptions? These states and feelings seem to be the same as what people who pursue the truth feel deep in their hearts when they experience God’s smiting, discipline, and rebuking. Those who pursue the truth also shed tears and give thanks to God, but in what way do these two types of people differ in nature? When pursuers of the truth endure pain and suffering, it is because they feel indebted to God, and unworthy of God’s promises and blessings. They feel very happy that God has already given them so much, but deep in their hearts they are upset, because they feel that they have not done enough and that they are indebted to God. They get worked up and tearful at times, but it is that they are thanking God for His grace, pity, and tolerance. When they see how God does not look at their transgressions, or their rebelliousness and corruption, but still shows pity and tolerance to them, and guides them, giving them grace, they actually feel indebted and pained deep in their hearts. They are in a remorseful, repentant state, and do not even dare to think about whether they have any hope of gaining blessings, as they feel unworthy. What is the nature of the tears of nonbelievers? Let Me give you a description and you can see if it’s accurate. When something befalls them, and they see the great work of the Holy Spirit and the grace that God grants, when they are moved by the Holy Spirit, and directed and enlightened by God, and their work is fruitful, they feel happy, and deep in their hearts they pray to God: “Oh God, thank You for Your blessings and guidance. This glory all belongs to You.” They feel very pleased with themselves in the depths of their hearts, and think: “God still hasn’t left me. I used to think I didn’t genuinely believe in God, like a nonbeliever, but now I see that I am still blessed by God and He hasn’t left me. This means that my hope and chances of gaining blessings and a beautiful destination are growing greater and greater. It seems that my decision to believe in God was the right one; I have been chosen by God.” When they have thoughts like these, do they feel indebted? Do they understand themselves? Do they truly hate their satanic natures and arrogant dispositions? (They don’t.) Do they feel real gratitude for the work God has done on them? (They don’t.) Even if they express some superficial gratitude, deep in their hearts they think, “God was obviously right to choose me. How could I have believed in Him if He hadn’t chosen me?” In the end, they chalk it all up to being repaid for all the suffering they endured and the prices they paid, and think they are practically assured of gaining blessings. They do not feel indebted toward God, they have no self-understanding, and they have even less true gratitude toward God, while at the same time their desire for blessings becomes ever more intense. What is the difference between people whose desire to gain blessings grows ever more intense and people who feel unworthy of blessings, unworthy of receiving God’s promise, and unworthy of being directed and guided by God? One is stepping back, not wishing to fight, and feels unworthy of gaining blessings, while the other always wants to fight, they are always scheming, and calculating how they will settle their account with God, thinking: “I’ve been a believer for so many years and suffered so much, so how good are my odds of gaining blessings? Will God grant me blessings in the future?” The contrast is stark: One is fighting, while the other feels unworthy. Which of these two types of people has conscience and reason? (The one who feels unworthy of blessings.) The one who feels unworthy of blessings understands the actual situation. They feel that an insignificant created being is unworthy of blessings in the face of the Creator. They feel indebted and remorseful, while also having true understanding and even more so having real gratitude toward God in the depths of their hearts. They have found their true place. The other kind is fighting: fighting for a destination, for status, and for blessings. What is their goal in enduring all this suffering and paying all these prices? They do these things in order to trade them for blessings and a destination. They hope to sell their own labor in order to obtain a reward from God. Is such a person a true created being in the eyes of God? Is this the created being that God wants? (No.) Has God ever said that the only way to obtain blessings or rewards is to fight for them? (No.) So what does God require of people? (That we behave ourselves to do the duty of a created being.) (That we become honest people.) Those are some concrete demands, what others are there? (That we follow God’s word and demands in our actions.) (That we practice whatever truths we know.) These are not the objective. You keep missing the crux of the matter. You still don’t know what God requires of people. His requirements are actually quite simple: Listen to His word and obey Him. Those are the requirements. Listening to God’s word means putting His requirements for people into practice. In addition to the requirements you just mentioned, there are actually many more. What about obeying God? You do not always understand God’s will, but are you able to obey Him? This touches on the attitude of a created being toward the Creator. Sometimes you may not understand God’s word after reading it, as He just gives you a command—do you listen to it? You must listen to it, without asking if it’s right or wrong, or the reason behind it. Anything God says or tells you, or charges you to do, you must listen; that is obedience. Only when you achieve obedience are you a created being in the eyes of God. Listening to God’s word and obeying Him: these are God’s requirements for people. There is another phrase: walking in God’s way. What does this “walking” mean? It means practicing according to God’s word, living by His word, and being a person who walks in His way. What is His way? It’s His word. In fact, “listening to God’s word and obeying Him” and “walking in God’s way” both mean the same thing, and this is the kind of person that God wants. Has God ever told people, “You don’t need to listen to My word. You can just pursue blessings. Never forget that you can be blessed. For this aim, you should renounce everything, endure more hardships, pay more prices, and run about more”? Does God have these requirements? Do they appear anywhere in His word? (No.) Are those words the truth? (No.) Isn’t it disobedient for nonbelievers to treat these words as the truth? What is going on when they treat these words as the truth? They can benefit from these words, they are precisely their pursuit and their ambition. Do they take note of what God requires of people in their hearts? Can they comply with or accomplish these requirements? (They can’t.) Why can’t they? Because as soon as they accomplish these requirements—listening to God’s word and obeying Him—it means they need to give up their desire to be blessed, and the idea that they have a right to pursue blessings and rewards. Blessings and rewards are their lifeblood, so will they agree to give them up? (No.) These things are their very life, so if they give them up, they will lose their souls and their lives will no longer have any meaning. They live for blessings, so if you ask them to give up on gaining blessings, you are asking them to go against the principles and orientation of their conduct, and forsake themselves, so they cannot accept this. This means that asking them to practice the truth, listen to God’s word, and obey Him is simply too difficult for them, it is even more strenuous than getting an old cow to climb a tree. Their very nature dictates that they cannot do these things.

Do you want to live by a desire and an intention to gain blessings, or do you want to do your duty well with both feet firmly on the ground, be an adequate created being, and a person who listens to God’s word and obeys Him? What kind of person do you want to be? (I want to be a created being with both of my feet firmly on the ground.) Some people are not willing to do this. They say: “Living like that is too oppressive. I’d rather die, or just stop believing. Without a little desire for blessings, without a little ambition, people lack motivation. There’s no way I can live like that; it’s too oppressive.” Are any among you like this? (God, I am sometimes like this. I am in such a state from time to time.) Are these states common? Do you have them often, or rarely? Which is stronger: your desire for blessings, or your will to be a created being? Does the idea of giving up any desire for blessings and doing your duty with your feet firmly on the ground make any of you feel like a deflated balloon, like your life has no meaning, and that you have no interest in anything, and cannot rouse up your energy? (That describes me perfectly.) Then is this state severe? Do you feel an occasional minor urge to gain blessings, or is this the norm for you? Which is it? Do you know right now if you are a true believer or a nonbeliever? If you feel that all of your states and behaviors are those of a true believer, not a nonbeliever, and that you genuinely believe in the existence of God and are willing to accept His word, but you just have a few ambitions and some vanity, and hope to gain blessings, this is not a problem; you can still be saved and can still change. If you are a nonbeliever with a particularly strong desire for blessings, then you are in trouble. What path are people like this heading toward? (The path of an antichrist.) If they are able to head toward the path of an antichrist, what status will their relationship with God eventually end up in? (That of opposition to God.) Would you be able to go that far, to be in opposition to God? (I don’t want to oppose Him.) Not wanting to is just your wish. Are these things part of your nature essence? Would it be possible for you to go down that path? (If I don’t put in effort regarding the truth, I could easily find myself on that path, but if I am conscious of this and want to change, to reverse my course, and to not walk this path, I can do a bit better.) Being conscious of this indicates that you still have some awareness in your heart, that you still have an aspiration, and that you still wish to strive toward the truth, but corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted in your heart, so there is always conflict there. With every step you take toward the truth, and each time you accept the truth, there is a conflict going on in your heart, and you are constantly living in a period of struggle. This is how it is for new believers. It is quite normal for there to be conflict, and it is inevitable for those who wish to pursue the truth. This conflict reaches its conclusion when they gain the truth, when Satan is defeated, when their satanic dispositions, philosophies, and logic are destroyed, and when the truth prevails, and takes charge of their hearts. Those who don’t pursue the truth, who live according to their satanic dispositions, feel that all is well in their hearts, and there is no conflict there at all. They are numb and dull-witted, they are one of the dead; all those who don’t accept the truth are dead. What is the advantage of having conflict in one’s heart? For example, if half of your thoughts are negative and half positive, then those positive thoughts will grant you the chance to choose to embark on the path of pursuing the truth after the conflict ends, which means that you will have a 50/50 hope of being saved. The negative thoughts may make you follow your fleshly thoughts and ideas, or follow your own intentions, motivations, and viewpoints. This might set you on the path of an antichrist, and make you head toward the path of opposition to God. However, if your love for the truth is great and you are able to accept the truth and forsake Satan, then your chances of salvation are also great. This is determined by whether you can accept the truth, and use it to cleanse yourself of your corrupt dispositions. This depends entirely on you, no one else can help you; this is your own business. Whether or not you love the truth is your own business, and when there is conflict in the depths of your heart, no one can help you to decide if you’ll choose the truth or satisfy your selfish desires at the end of it, this is your own inner affair. Others can only guide you through fellowship and counseling; however, the path you choose in the end is no one’s business but yours. Everyone should understand this.

August 22, 2019

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